East Ridge wrestling: Lyden punches ticket to state tournament
East Ridge sophomore Reid Lyden punched a ticket to the Class AA state wrestling tournament, finishing in second place at the Section 3AAA competition.
Lyden is only the second Raptors wrestler in the school's short history to reach the state meet.
Lyden, the third seed at 106 pounds, in Section 3AAA needed to pull off an upset to earn a trip to the state tournament. Seeded ahead of him were Maolu Woiwor of Apple Valley and Billie Underhill of Burnsville. Lyden included, the three 106 pounders were all ranked in the top 10 in Class AAA heading into the postseason. Lyden was ranked eighth, Woiwor was second and Underhill was third.
After a first-round pin of Alex Lindstrom from Eastview, Lyden squared off with the powerful Underhill. In a fantastic match, Lyden prevailed 10-7 after falling behind in the first period.
Some impressive riding and a nice turn by Reid were the difference in the match, according to head coach Hans Horning. Not all was great though. Lyden, who injured his elbow earlier in the week during practice, came off the mat in a great deal of pain.
"Reid had a very gutsy performance," Horning said. "He was in pain to start, the pain got worse during the match, but he fought through and won the match. It was an amazing performance."
In Saturday's final versus Woiwor, the coaches decided it would be best for Lyden to injury default and save his arm in case he needed to wrestle a "true-second" match.
"Reid really wanted to wrestle. He wanted to be section champ," Horning said. "He beat Woiwor last Spring so he knows he can do it, but there was still a good chance he would not win and then might have to wrestle a true-second match. Hurting his arm more in the championship and then having to wrestle again could cost him a trip to state. And that is our goal- to place at state."
So, with a great deal of talking between coaches and athlete, Lyden injury defaulted out of the championship match. As it turned out, Underhill easily won the third-place match allowing Reid to qualify for state without a true-second match. Lyden, 37-2 on the year, will now look to heal his elbow this week and head to the Xcel Energy Center on Friday to bring home a medal.
The individual portion of this year's state tournament, held March 1 through 3, at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul begins Friday at 9 a.m. with Class AAA. Lyden will face Sam Bennyhoff from Mound-Westonka in first round action.
In all, East Ridge had three wrestlers survive to the second day of the tournament and place in Section 3AAA action. In addition to Lyden, sophomore Jake Trevis battled to third place at 113 pounds and senior Sean Kallevig finished the tournament in fifth place to end a great career for East Ridge on the second day of sections.
At 113 pounds, Trevis rolled into the semis with a 58-second pin of Austin Thurmes from Park. Facing Brock Morgan of Apple Valley in the semis, Trevis wrestled very aggressively but lost an 11-5 decision.
"I said Jake would sneak up on some people before this season was over," Horning said. "And I was right. Jake lost the match but opened quite a few eyes with his performance."
Trevis continued his quest with another fall in the wrestlebacks. A 1:13 pin of Naser Ali from Eagan, followed by another quick pin, in 45 seconds, of Tyler Lindgren from Eastview, earned Trevis third place and with Morgan winning the championship, gave him a shot at true-second. In the true-second match, Trevis faced Dan Rosa of Rosemount, ranked eighth in state. Again, on the attack, Trevis wrestled evenly with Rosa until getting caught halfway through the second period and pinned in 2:58. One spot short of state, Trevis's season ended with a great tournament and high expectations for next season.
At heavyweight Kallevig finished his career by one-upping his section placement. A sixth-place finisher the past two seasons, Kallevig won his fifth-place match this season with 4-2 decision over Ethan Morgel of Burnsville. The win was bittersweet as Kallevig finished on a high note and avenged a loss to Morgel he suffered in the first round of the tournament.
"Sean had a great year and a great career. He started wrestling in 10th grade and was put right into varsity action," said Horning. "He has come a long way in two plus years. I am very proud of him and we are going to miss him in our lineup."
Other seniors finishing their careers this weekend were John Chatterton at 138, Jon Balagot at 170, and Kyle Siemers at 195.
"Our seniors are a very special group. They got our program going and most had little or no experience. I would have liked to see at least one of them punch a trip to state but it wasn't meant to be," Horning said. "I felt a lot of emotion this weekend knowing those seniors were done. They have meant so much to East Ridge Wrestling and to me. I will really miss them next year."